The bizarre Airain Baschmakoff digi-mech, very far from the sort of watch that you’re used to seeing! It comes from 70’s ‘electronic/digital’ era, when classical mechanical brands were competing with electronic watches and developing these kind of mechanical timepieces with digital display complications.
Fun fact – 99% of those advanced electronic digital watches are now dead and non-repairable, due to the degradation of the integrated electronic components. However, the horological digi-mech creations are still alive and running, and with regular servicing will continue to be and to do so for 100+ years.
This unusual case design is called ‘De Baschmakoff‘, designed by Francois de Baschmakoff, the French artist, known for his collaborations with the LIP watchmaking company. The case design is a long, sleek rectangular shape with crescent hour and minute windows positioned to the left of the dial. This model also has a ‘propellor’ seconds wheel, with four blades that line up with the second track, so one simply has to follow one of the hands to time things by seconds! Recently LIP reissued this model with a quartz movement, but this particular piece still has its real old mechanics, in great condition after all these years.
Although the strap is quite wide, and the case size at only 34.5 mm, this design of the large strap and small sleek case was the intention of its creator, to achieve a timepiece totally different from anything made before.
About Montres Airain
Montres Airain, established in 1934 by the Dodane family, is a brand that rose to prominence in the 1950s as an aircraft chronograph supplier. Several specifications were required for such a mechanism, including a bi-directional bezel and minimum 35hr power reserve among other things, so that it was suitable for military use. Named the Type 20 chronograph, this piece of horological technology forms the DNA of most Airain watches and has informed the iconic design.
Servicing and Guarantee
This timepiece has been serviced with full disassembly. Make sure to follow the usage and care guidelines.
Case and Strap
- Original, long rectangular case.
- Specially shaped, acrylic glass.
- Screw stainless steel caseback.
- Crown with pull-out function.
- Width w/o crown 34.5 mm.
- Width w/crown 37 mm.
- Height 33.5 mm.
- Thickness 12 mm.
- Strap width 28 mm.
Dial and Hands
- Original khaki-tone dial.
- Crescent overlapping digital display minute and jumping hour.
- ‘Airain’ signature.
- ‘Propellor’ shaped 4-bladed seconds wheel.
- French-made movement.
- FE-140-1A-D caliber.
- 17 jewels.
- Instant jumping hours digital indication.
- Finely satin-brushed plates and bridges.
- Polished wheels and screws.
- Testing duration: 2 week cyclic test.
- Average timekeeping range: 15-30 sec/day.
Servicing and Guarantee
- Fully serviced.
- Mechanics in full working order.
- Care and usage guidelines.